Chelsea Clarke - Printmaker and Fiber Artist
Raw FleeceWashed FleeceCarded and Un-carded WoolCardingSpinning WheelSpinningBobbinTwo Ply BobbinFinished YarnStarting the SweaterOn the RoadDauphin Island, AlabamaSalt Lake City, UtahNorthern CaliforniaCaliforniaOregon CoastSweater PiecesAssembled SweaterOne FleecePeterson Farm Sweater
In April 2009 I was given a raw fleece from Peterson Farm on Cape Cod, one of the oldest continuously operating sheep farms in the country. It was started during colonial times and is now a town owned conservation property that is still operated as a working sheep farm. My plan was to trace the history of one fleece from sheep to sweater in much the same path as it would have taken when the farm was first started. I processed the fleece entirely by hand using equipment similar to what was used to process wool in the 18th and 19th centuries. It took me 14 months to wash, card, spin, and knit the fleece into a one sheep sweater for myself. When it was finished I went back to the farm to meet my sheep.